Regarding Etiquette

Rude Interviewers

Recorded on December 23rd, 2016

One consequence of learning more about the world as it burns is that I’ve been listening to even more interviews, mostly on radio and podcasts. The single most grating thing (besides the lies of Trump and his transition team) is hearing interviewers repeatedly say to their subject, “Tell us about…”, “Walk us through…”, or the worst, “Talk about…”, as if they had some command over the person who has agreed to answer their inane questions. These hosts may as well be ordering in a restaurant, bellowing “I want a steak”, or “Gimme a large pizza and a Coke”. No “please”, no “may I”, no requests, just self-important rushing to the next blank talking point, with a goal of gracelessly getting an efficient answer, and to hell with manners.

I was born in the south, which has its problems, but we learned to speak to people politely, not to yell. To ask — not dictate. Instead, how about you treat your on-air guests with a little respect and actually ask them questions instead of barking orders at them? You could say, “What was life like when…”, or “Would you tell us about…”, or “Could you describe for us…”?

Yes, I’m angry.